As if the Knicks don’t already have enough problems.
A report emerged Wednesday that the team was on the verge of imploding following its 4-19 start to the season, with Carmelo Anthony threatening to “beat up” Tim Hardaway Jr., and with others in the locker room not enjoying playing with Anthony, and telling him he needs to take fewer shots.
Now, it appears as though those at odds with Anthony may at some point get their wish.
From Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:
According to a source, Anthony has been playing with left knee soreness for much of the season and the fear is that it may require surgery to correct. Following Tuesday’s loss at New Orleans, Anthony admitted that he’s playing with pain and hinted that he may need time off to rest. …
It is believed that if in fact surgery is needed Anthony could postpone the procedure until after the season but his most recent comments reveal a player who is concerned that his knee is not improving. Throughout his career, Anthony has shown a willingness to play hurt, including the finishing the playoffs two years ago despite suffering from a partially torn labrum in his left shoulder.
But with the Knicks season already spiraling out of control in early December, Anthony and the Knicks may decide to take a more proactive and aggressive approach in dealing with his knee injury.
Anthony is far and away New York’s best player, and he should be taking the bulk of the shots. But he is averaging 18.8 attempts per game, which is third in the league behind only LaMarcus Aldridge and Kobe Bryant — and the next closest Knicks players are Amar’e Stoudemire, Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith, each of whom is averaging over nine per game themselves.
But the notion of Anthony excessively asserting himself offensively is the least of the team’s issues. If he’s out for any extended period of time, the Knicks will struggle to even compete most nights. And the one player who figures to be in New York for the long haul after signing a five-year contract extension over the summer won’t get to use this lost season to learn the offensive system being foisted upon his team from the front office.